Meet 2023 NFL Draft Prospect CJ Onyechi, Edge, Colorado State

CJ Onyechi, Edge, Colorado State University
CJ Onyechi the former defensive end from Colorado State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds scout Justin Berendzen.

  • Name: CJ Onyechi
  • Position: Edge
  • College: Colorado State University
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 245 lbs
  • Twitter: @0nyechi
  • Instagram: @0nyechi

What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

I actually played soccer up until high school. My parents didn’t want me to play football. I always loved football though because my older brother played and he was someone I looked up to and still do. My freshman year, I didn’t make the soccer team, and secretly joined the football team behind my moms back. My first practice was probably my best football memory. I balled out my first day and the rest was history. My mom found out later and I talked her into keeping me on the team with the help of my football coach.

What are you looking to achieve as a football player going forward?

I look forward to playing a key role in helping a team reach the highest accolade, a Super Bowl championship. I have personal goals that I am striving to achieve, but I’ve always been a player who live by the saying, “don’t talk about it, be about it.” So you’ll have to wait and see. I also am fueled by one of my coaches who said I wouldn’t amount to anything in the NFL. So I want to prove that coach wrong.

If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

Present player would be Shaquil Barrett. He is one of my favorite players and just happened to go to Colorado State where I did my last year. He was an undrafted free agent and rose to the top and admire his humility through it all. He also uses the Cross Chop pass rush move that I recently have used and learned to master. For sure one of my favorite players of all time. A past player would be James Harrison. One of the coldest and most feared players on the field even thought he was one of the smallest. I replicated my game around his and try to create that intensity every time I step on the field. He went through the same undrafted process as well and will for sure make the hall of fame. I watch his highlight tape before every game I play. It would be tough to get a workout with him too!

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

Definitely just bonding with my brothers. Football allowed me to create relationships that I know will last a lifetime. Every time I hear from older retired players they all say the first thing they miss about football is the brotherhood. I’m already feeling that as I am in the process of moving my stuff back home. I’ll always cherish the times with my coaches and teammates.

Which one of your family members inspires you the most and why?

Definitely my father. My father was born in Nigeria and was the oldest of 5 siblings. He worked his way to America and amidst the racism and discrimination he became one of the best civil engineers in NY. And he did this all while supporting his family back in Nigeria. He also played college soccer which is why I followed in his footsteps until I started football. I aspire to be a man that handles business just like my pops.

What is your favorite defensive scheme and why?

My favorite scheme is a 3-4. I feel like a 3-4 defensive scheme fits my body type and skill set very well. Don’t get me wrong I can play in any scheme, but I feel like you can utilize me so much more in a 3-4 defense. Not only will it be good to show my pass rush ability as a OLB, but also I can be dropped back into converse and even become part of the fit.

What should we know about CJ Onyechi the person?

Before anything else, Everyone should know I am a huge believer in Christ! It’s always been my main goal that people could see God through me and feel like they could come to me for advice or just someone to talk to. I have a lot to give and I believe God wants me in the NFL to help the ones around while playing the game I love. Also I’m very passionate, and I live by the quote, “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.” I put 100% into everything I do and That’s the only way I know how to live.

What stands out about your film the most?

I believe my relentless pass rush stands out! I’m never giving up on a rush. I always have a backup plan for every move and that’s what made me be able to live in the backfield this season. Also my bend is what sets me apart. I’m already a shorter guy but my ability to bend and turn the corner is where I excel!

How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

For life situations, I take them head on and ask God to guide me. Life can be unexpected and quite unfair, kinda like the game of football. You have to “embrace the suck” and handle things like a man and not whine when things aren’t going your way. On the field, I revert back to my training. Personally, I train, practice and lift at a high level so when I’m in situations that are challenging or unexpected, my play doesn’t drop off.

What would a team get in a player like you?

A team would get a player who strives for perfection. Whether that’s in the meeting room, on the field, or as a leader I will always strive to be the best and put the team over myself.

What do you love the most about the game of football?

The violence. The only game you can demolish someone and not get in trouble for it. You gotta be a little crazy to play this game and that comes out of me when I get out on the field.

Who is the most underrated player you’ve played with and why?

My teammate from Rutgers University, Captain, #8, Tyshon Fogg. He was by far one of the best leaders and players I’ve been around. If it was up to me he would’ve been drafted first three rounds. What he did at Rutgers was sadly over looked but he’s on the rise and I know he will become an amazing player in the NFL.

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